Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. (NYSE:WCN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Waste Connections operates in a highly-competitive market. The barriers to entry into the regulated waste collection and disposal business are very low. Over the years, stringent environmental, health and safety laws and regulations have severely hindered operations and increased operating costs of the company. Volatility in crude oil prices is also expected to impair the profitability of Waste Connections and adversely affect the level of investment and linear feet drilled in the basins where it operates. The company has a solid earnings surprise history, having beaten estimates in each of the last four quarters. However, the merger of Waste Connections with Progressive Waste Solutions has arguably created an industry leader with enhanced scale and a stronger financial profile.”

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. Barclays PLC lifted their price objective on Progressive Waste Solutions from $74.00 to $86.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 9th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $76.00 price objective on shares of Progressive Waste Solutions in a research note on Friday, July 15th. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their price objective on Progressive Waste Solutions from $82.00 to $86.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. lifted their price objective on Progressive Waste Solutions from $75.00 to $82.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Finally, TD Securities reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $78.00 price objective on shares of Progressive Waste Solutions in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $73.18.

Analyst Recommendations for Progressive Waste Solutions (NYSE:WCN)

Progressive Waste Solutions (NYSE:WCN) opened at 74.63 on Friday. The stock’s market capitalization is $13.04 billion. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $75.19 and a 200 day moving average of $72.04. Progressive Waste Solutions has a 52 week low of $50.64 and a 52 week high of $79.72.

Progressive Waste Solutions (NYSE:WCN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.12. The business had revenue of $727.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $713.58 million. Progressive Waste Solutions had a return on equity of 8.84% and a net margin of 4.33%. The company’s revenue was up 36.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.50 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Progressive Waste Solutions will post $2.44 EPS for the current year.

In related news, COO Darrell W. Chambliss sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.42, for a total transaction of $154,840.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 147,068 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,386,004.56. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director William J. Razzouk sold 4,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.69, for a total value of $346,236.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 12,344 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $971,349.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Progressive Waste Solutions by 50.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,187,883 shares of the company’s stock worth $950,188,000 after buying an additional 4,433,316 shares during the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its position in shares of Progressive Waste Solutions by 21.2% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 5,336,414 shares of the company’s stock worth $344,679,000 after buying an additional 931,828 shares during the period. State Street Corp raised its position in shares of Progressive Waste Solutions by 21.5% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 3,704,328 shares of the company’s stock worth $239,269,000 after buying an additional 654,877 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its position in shares of Progressive Waste Solutions by 2.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 3,635,789 shares of the company’s stock worth $234,836,000 after buying an additional 102,761 shares during the period. Finally, FMR LLC raised its position in shares of Progressive Waste Solutions by 5,800.8% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,564,980 shares of the company’s stock worth $257,561,000 after buying an additional 3,504,565 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.85% of the company’s stock.

About Progressive Waste Solutions

Waste Connections, Inc is an integrated municipal solid waste (MSW) services company. The Company provides solid waste collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services in the United States. The Company is a provider of non-hazardous exploration and production (E&P), waste treatment, recovery and disposal services in various areas of the United States.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:WCN

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